The second and last Fred Astaire-Rita Hayworth musical, “You Were Never Lovelier” takes place in the studio-shot Argentina.
Astaire plays Robert Davis, an American dancer whose penchant for betting on horse races has made him financially broke.
Hayworth’s Maria Acuna is the beautiful daughter of wealthy Argentinian nightclub owner Eduardo Acuna (Adolphe Menjou), a rigid patriarch vowing to see his daughters get married in the order of their ages.
As older sister Leslie Brooks is about to walk to the altar, Maria is next in line. To encourage his daughter to seek out an eligible husband, the father sends her unsigned love notes so that she’ll think she has a secret admirer.
Through a series of misunderstandings, Maria becomes convinced that Davis is the man behind the notes and the gifts. Eduardo hires the impoverished Davis as a potential son-in-law. Davis balks at the idea of being a “bought spouse,” but changes his mind when he falls in love with Maria.
Some of my dancer-friends think that Hayworth was just as good a dancing partner for Asatire as Ginger Rogers, perhaps even better.
Hayworth’s songs are dubbed by Nan Wynn.
Oscar Nominations: 3
Sound Recording: John Livadare
Score : Leigh Harline.
Song: Dearly Beloved, music by Jerome Kern, lyrics by Johnny Mercer.
Oscar Awards: None
The winner of the Best Song Oscar was from another Astaire musical, Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas,” from “Holiday Inn.”
“Yankee Doodle Dandy” won the Sound and Scoring Oscars.
Running time: 98 Minutes.
Directed by William A. Seiter
Written by Delmer Daves and Michael Fessier